Careers and Languages

SELCS offers students valuable skills for employment at a time when language skills are strongly sought after by employers.

Modern Languages graduates are highly valued by employers for their linguistic and cultural knowledge, and for their set of transferable skills. These include the ability to speak, understand and write in a foreign language, intercultural understanding, translation and communication skills, and analytical rigour.

SELCS graduates go on to work in varied roles across the public, private and charitable sectors, as well as working as language consultants and teachers. Some of our recent graduates have been employed by the following organisations:

  • Cambridge Education Group 
  • BBC Worldwide
  • Royal Bank of Scotland
  • KPMG
  • UFR d'Anglais Universite Paris Sorbonne
  • Grey Court School
  • JC Decaux
  • The Sport Review
  • MIS Training Institute

Careers by Language


As labour market intelligence by the University Council for Modern Languages (2011) points out, Dutch is one of the five most requested languages in the UK job adverts, ahead of Russian and even Chinese! This is due to the close economic and cultural ties between the Netherlands, Flanders and the UK. Moreover, the report points out that even if your trading partners speak English well, it still pays to speak their language, having developed intercultural skills as taught by UCL Dutch. 

As graduates with Dutch are rare this makes for a very vibrant employment situation, even in times of economic crisis. There is demand for graduates who can help overcome the shortage of teachers of Dutch and translators from Dutch into English. The demand for teachers is from adult education institutes and increasingly from higher and secondary education; in the case of translators it comes from Dutch, Belgian and European institutions, from translation agencies and from business.

Our Dutch programmes, unique to the UK, will be of interest both to those who wish to enhance their knowledge of Dutch culture for professional purposes - in the field, for example, of education, media, commerce and tourism.

Job TitleDestination
Civil ServantHM Ministry of Justice
TranslatorEuropean Commission
Art HistorianNational Portrait Gallery
LawyerHome Office
CopywriterUniversity of Liverpool Press
AssociateGoldman Sachs
EditorReader's Digest
PR SupervisorWalt Disney
LinguistMinistry of Defence
Job TitleOrganisation 
TranslatorEuropean Union
Communications ExecutiveBritish Airways Public Ltd Company
Teaching FellowUCL
Broadcast JournalistBBC Wales
DirectorHSBC (UK)
EditorPJB Publications
Head of Modern LanguagesBrentwood School
Senior Policy AdvisorThe Cabinet Officer
Campaigns & Information OfficerCampaign to Protect Rural England

Selected Alumni Careers:

  • Richard Green (German and Scandinavian Studies BA) continued on to postgraduate study at UCL during which time he also developed a successful boutique translation company (The Nordic Word) specialising in the translation and localisation of Danish, English, German, Norwegian, and Swedish.
  • Emmanuel Valentine (German BA) went on to spend a year as a foreign language assistant in Austria. He now works at a video games developer in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Chris Morillon (German and French BA) Currently working as a trainee assistant to a MEP at the European Parliament in Brussels, mainly focussing on internal market operations of the EU.
  • Reena Rayani (French and German BA) is currently working on the German Equity Derivatives Sales desk at a major investment bank.
  • Matthew McCarthy-Rechowicz (Polish and German BA) is teaching English for the British Council at the bilingual Technische Hochschule für Textilindustrie, Vienna.
Job TitleOrganisation
BarristerFive Paper
Head of CommunicationsAdidas
Italian DiplomatUnited Nations
TeacherTownley Grammar School for girls
Deputy Fashion EditorDazed & Confused
Label and Publicity ManagerWarner Music Group
InterpreterBologna Fiere (BO) Italy
Business Development ManagerCMPi
LecturerUniversity of Birmingham
Client Service ExecutiveThompson Financial
Scandinavian Studies
Job TitleDestination
Language DirectorHong Kong Institute of Education
Associate LawyerSetterwells Law Firm
Editor PJB Publications
Senior Development ManagerNSPCC
Conference InterpreterEuropean Parliamen (Belgium)
Communications and Business Development OfficerInternational Family Health (London)
Specialist Speech and Language TherapistGreat Ormond Street Hospital
DirectorANZ Baking Group Ltd
Non-Executive DirectorMillicom International Cellular SA
Publishing DirectorVoyager
Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies

Our UG/PG programmes may lead to research, or to employment in which a broad familiarity with Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American culture is an asset. Some of the destinations of recent graduates of our programmes include:

  • IMS: Live Subtitler
  • British Council: Project Delivery Officer
  • University of Westminster: Teacher
  • UCL: doctoral research in Spanish Literature

Careers by Programme

Comparative Literature
Job TitleCompany
Arts Information OfficerLondon Borough of Camden
Head of Mission, Dominican RepublicThe UN Refugee Agency
Press OfficerBarbican Centre
English TeacherState Secondary School
TV ResearcherITV Central Ltd
LecturerTokyo Denki University (Japan)
Reader's AssistantBritish Library Head Office
Research DirectorPromise Corporation
Literary ConsultantThe Writer's Workshop
Translator & TeacherBritish Council (Greece)
Early Modern Studies

This MA will give you a very specific skill set, including manuscript handling and archival research. Depending on the optional modules you select you may also develop language skills and knowledge in information technologies and database use. These transferable skills will make you very employable within the heritage or cultural sectors, as well as library work, the arts, and other roles which require intensive research and/or information management. Our alumni have gone on to undertake further study as research students at UCL and elsewhere, including the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge, York and Swansea, as well as some exciting careers in publishing and the heritage sector. They have successfully obtained funding and prizes including the Bryce-Jebb and Dorris Russell Scholarships and the prestigious John Edward Kerry Prize.

Selected career destinations:

  • PhD in English, University College London
  • Conservation Assistant, National Trust
  • Visitor Services Officer, Historical Royal Palaces
  • Research Intern, Opus
  • PhD in History, University of Cambridge
  • Editorial Assistant, Law Business Research

"I teach literature at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile and I'm also a computational linguist. I think the EMS MA's focus on bibliography was of great help. It certainly enriched my understanding of literature and I also think it made me stand out when I was hired at the university." Francesca Barbera, MA Early Modern Studies Graduate

European Culture & Thought
Job TitleCompany
Account Manageri-graduate Research Centre
DevelopmentLondon Symphony Orchestra
Freelance JournalistThe Independent
Outsales + Promotions DeptartmentWorld Disney Company
European Studies
Job TitleCompany
Account ExecutiveAmazon Public Relations
Finance AnalystBritish Airways
Fundraising OfficerNational Childrens Bureau
Grants ManagerThe Rayne Foundation
Intelligence ManagerHome Office
JournalistThe Financial Times
Marketing Communications ManagerIntercontinental Hotels Group
Planned Giving FundraiserGreenpeace Australia Pacific
Policy and Project OfficerBroxbourne Borough Council
Policy ManagerThe Cabinet Office
Principal ResearcherThomson Reuters
Product SpecialistCanon (UK)
Research ManagerCivil Service
Film Studies
Job TitleCompany
Assistant ProducerSky Italia
Conncect and Create Partnership ManagerBBC
Course Leader in Film,TV & Radio StudiesStaffordshire University
Editorial and Digital Operations ManagerUniversal Music Group
JournalistTotal Film
LecturerNew York University
National Account ManagerUniversal Films
New Business/Junior Account PlannerTribal DDB London (DDB Group UK)
Professor of European CinemaBirkbeck College
Sales ExecutiveThe Bookseller Group
Gender & Sexuality Studies
Job TitleCompany
Associate Mandvinalla & Zafar Law Company
ConsultantOverseas Development Institute & ASTI
International Relations Co-ordinatorUnknown
Lecturer in CommunicationsNottingham Trent University
Research Officer Public HealthCambridgeshire County Council
Health Humanities


Translation Studies
Job TitleCompany
Freelance TranslatorRocky Mountain Translations
Freelance TranslatorHarpercollins Publishers
Library Administrative AssistantUCL
Official Languages Officer IIHKSAR Government
Online Ad Operations ManagerQS
Russian Cultural Event OrganiserAcademia Rossica
SecretaryTsinghua University
Teaching FellowUCL
TranslatorOpen Education Group